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Captain Wafer

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  • A Civil Campaign

  • A Miles Vorkosigan Novel
  • By: Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 18 hrs and 48 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,074
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,424
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars 1,435

Lord Miles Vorkosigan has a problem that all his new power can't solve: unrequited love for the beautiful Vor widow Ekaterin Vorsoisson. Ekaterin is violently allergic to marriage as a result of her first exposure. But, as Miles learned from his late career in galactic covert ops, if a frontal assault won't do, go to subterfuge.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Bujold does Jane Austen--nicely

  • By David on 10-16-09

A warrior attempts a romance - wonderful!

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 05-06-18

First of all, if you haven't listened to / read any of the Miles Vorkosigan books, this isn't a good place to start. Without knowing the characters, you'll miss much of the joy of the book. Start with one of the books about the younger Miles, such as The Vor Game or Cetaganda. And once you've become familiar with Miles, make sure to listen to / read Komarr before this book.

But if you know Miles...well, this is a treat.

If you've listened to Komarr, you know Miles met Ekaterin on the planet Komarr, and in this book he sets out to woo her. He plots it out like a military campaign, just like one of his Dendarii missions. This is not a great analogy for a romance, but this doesn't seem to stop "forward momentum" Miles.

And as the saying goes, no battle plan survives contact with the...enemy? Well, Ekaterin can't really be Miles' enemy...but anyway. His plans go disastrously wrong. You'll love every mistake and wrong turn on the way. I sure did.

  • Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog)

  • By: Jerome K. Jerome
  • Narrated by: Steven Crossley
  • Length: 6 hrs and 40 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 153
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 138
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 137

Martyrs to hypochondria and general seediness, J. and his friends George and Harris decide that a jaunt up the Thames would suit them just fine. But when they set off, they can hardly predict the troubles that lie ahead with tow-ropes, unreliable weather forecasts, and tins of pineapple chunks---not to mention the devastation left in the wake of J.'s small fox-terrier Montmorency.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Hilarious, Fun

  • By andrew on 07-14-12

An absolute delight

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-14-18

If you could sum up Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) in three words, what would they be?

Hilarious. Memorable. Human.

What other book might you compare Three Men in a Boat (To Say Nothing of the Dog) to and why?

I bought the audiobook of Three Men in a Boat after listening to Connie Willis' To Say Nothing of The Dog. Ms. Willis' book is in some way a tribute to this, and it's hard for me to think of one without thinking of the other.

Which scene was your favorite?

There are so many that it's hard to choose, but the scene where they are packing for their boating trip may be my favorite. Hearing about Montmorency (the dog) thinking the lemons are rats and killing them reminds me of terriers I've had - it's real and funny both.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

This isn't a book that moves me...more one that pulls me in and then makes me laugh out loud.

Any additional comments?

Stephen Crossley's narration is spot-on for this book. He's an excellent choice for narrating this story.

  • The Darcys of Pemberley

  • The Continuing Story of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice
  • By: Shannon Winslow
  • Narrated by: Marian Hussey
  • Length: 10 hrs and 7 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 276
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 247
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 245

A sequel faithful to Jane Austen's beloved masterpiece, Pride and Prejudice. Elizabeth and Mr. Darcy have been married for almost a year, and their heated arguments are a thing of the past. All that passion is now directed into more satisfying pursuits. But how long can the honeymoon last? The Darcys of Pemberley is the tale of two romances: the continuation of Darcy and Elizabeth's story, and the courtship of Miss Georgiana.

  • 1 out of 5 stars
  • an insult to Jane Austen

  • By Catherine on 09-27-13

Not Jane Austen's Characters

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
1 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-27-17

What would have made The Darcys of Pemberley better?

"Keep to the code". The original Pride and Prejudice is, fundamentally, a story based on characters. We re-read it because we love the intelligent but judgemental Elizabeth, the aloof Mr. Darcy, and loveable Jane, and all the other characters. If you're going to write a sequel to a character-based novel, the characters have to keep the same...character.

What was most disappointing about Shannon Winslow’s story?

The most disappointing point of this story is that those characters we love changed in inexplicable ways. In particular, Elizabeth and Mr. Wickham are both significantly changed from the original, without any clear explanation of why (though Elizabeth does at one point mention that Wickham has changed). Mr. Darcy is also changed, but I found his change of character more believable - he's so deeply in love at the end of Ms. Austen's book, that I can easily see him continuing like this in the book.

What about Marian Hussey’s performance did you like?

The narration was solid: easy to follow, and with good differentiation of all the the characters. There was nothing truly exceptional in the narration - just a good, solid job.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

At first, I was charmed by this book - particularly seeing Lizzie and Mr. Darcy's domestic life together. But as the book went on, the characters diverged more and more from what I expected to see of them, and I grew more and more disappointed.

  • Dreaming Spies

  • By: Laurie R. King
  • Narrated by: Jenny Sterlin
  • Length: 12 hrs and 21 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,546
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,381
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,377

For years now, readers of the Russell Memoirs have wondered about the tantalizing mentions of Japan. Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes had spent three weeks there, between India ( The Game) and San Francisco ( Locked Rooms). The time has finally come to tell that story. It is 1925, and Mary Russell and Sherlock Holmes arrive home to find...a stone. A stone with a name, which they last saw in the Tokyo garden of the future emperor of Japan.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Haiku and Holmes - A Fine Brew

  • By Amazon Customer on 02-22-15

Rather a disappointment of a story

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 03-07-16

Would you recommend this book to a friend? Why or why not?

I'd only recommend this to a dedicated fan of the Holmes & Russel series. It's far from the worst of the series (that would be 'Pirate King'), but it's also far from the best.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Listening to this has made me appreciate how good Agatha Christie is...I'll be going back to her next.

Have you listened to any of Jenny Sterlin’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I've listened to several of Ms. Sterlin's performances of the Holmes & Russel books, and she delivers every time. Her voicing is right on, and she brings the characters alive every time.

Was Dreaming Spies worth the listening time?

It was worth the time for a first listen...but I doubt it's worth a second listen.

  • I Shall Wear Midnight

  • By: Terry Pratchett
  • Narrated by: Stephen Briggs
  • Length: 9 hrs and 46 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 2,313
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,785
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,801

Tiffany Aching has spent years studying with senior witches, and now she is on her own. As the witch of the Chalk, she performs the bits of witchcraft that aren't sparkly, aren't fun, don't involve any kind of wand, and that people seldom ever hear about: She does the unglamorous work of caring for the needy. But someone - or something - is igniting fear, inculcating dark thoughts and angry murmurs against witches.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Another Treasured Pratchett

  • By Rebecca on 12-11-10

Tiffany comes back for some more fun

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
3 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 11-08-15

What did you love best about I Shall Wear Midnight?

Having listened to the first three Tiffany Aching stories, I really enjoyed seeing her growing up and becoming - if not an adult, something close to one. The portrait of her dealing with her responsibilities as the Witch of the Chalk was really charming.

If you’ve listened to books by Terry Pratchett before, how does this one compare?

Terry Pratchett's books range from OK to brilliant. The first Tiffany Aching story (The Wee Free Men) is absolutely brilliant. This one is good, but just can't quite reach those heights. It's got all the things that make a Pratchett story good: solid social commentary wrapped in a humorous story, laugh-out-loud fun, characters who seem to step out of the page, and characters who are charmingly larger than life. And while it was a quite enjoyable listen, it didn't quite pull off the magic (no pun intended) brilliance that his best stories can achieve.

Have you listened to any of Stephen Briggs’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

A good reader has different voices for different characters, and tones of voice which express the emotions of the story. But Stephen Briggs is beyond a good reader, he's spectacular. He's right up there with Jim Dale in my pantheon of brilliant readers. When Mr. Briggs is reading, the entire world around me becomes the story - so real I think I can reach out and touch it.

If you could take any character from I Shall Wear Midnight out to dinner, who would it be and why?

This story is full of fun characters, so it depends on what kind of dinner I was going to. If it was a dinner party, with plenty of people and lots of fun, I'd definitely take Nanny Ogg. She's a minor character in this story, but her zest for life would turn any gathering into a party.
And if it was a small group, I'd take Preston the guard out to dinner. I love the way he thinks about the sounds and feel of words.

Any additional comments?

The late Terry Pratchett...I'll miss him.

  • Just One Damned Thing After Another

  • The Chronicles of St Mary's, Book 1
  • By: Jodi Taylor
  • Narrated by: Zara Ramm
  • Length: 9 hrs and 30 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,815
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,285
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 6,278

Behind the seemingly innocuous façade of St Mary's, a different kind of historical research is taking place. They don't do 'time-travel' - they 'investigate major historical events in contemporary time'. Maintaining the appearance of harmless eccentrics is not always within their power - especially given their propensity for causing loud explosions when things get too quiet. Meet the disaster-magnets of St Mary's Institute of Historical Research as they ricochet around History.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Action Adventure Time Travel Novel w/ Good Reader

  • By Sires on 04-13-14

Annoying. Really.

Overall
2 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 10-31-15

What would have made Just One Damned Thing After Another better?

About 95% less bloody violence, and also fewer explosive arguments. She was trying to show how many of the historical expeditions turned out to be debacles, but really? It could have been done without the lengthy descriptions of gore and violence.

What was most disappointing about Jodi Taylor’s story?

It kept showing hints of being a really interesting time travel story. I love the possibilities of time travel, and in particular the trip back to the Library of Alexandria was a great idea. But every time it gets to be promising, there's another blood-drenched scene, or there's another explosive argument.

What does Zara Ramm bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

Ms. Ramm did a great job reading this book: her tones of voice really made the characters seem much more real. Max in particular became more of a three-dimensional character under Ms. Ramm's narration.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

Travelling back to the Library of Alexandria to rescue lost books? Three-dimensional movies of real dinosaurs? This is the fun part of time travel...I loved seeing those ideas being brought to life, and Ms. Taylor did a great job with that.

Any additional comments?

I may try one of the later books in the series to see if the writing has calmed down a bit...at least I'll read a few reviews and possibly give her another chance. There's real potential here if she could put down the red paint for a while.

  • 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

  • By: Jules Verne
  • Narrated by: David Case, Frederick Davidson
  • Length: 11 hrs and 18 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars 670
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars 572
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars 575

The year 1866 was marked by a unique incident, a mysterious and inexplicable phenomenon, and rumors agitated the maritime population and excited the public mind, especially seafaring men. Merchants, common sailors, captains of vessels, skippers, both of Europe and America, naval officers of all countries, and the governments of several states on the two continents, were deeply interested in the matter.

  • 2 out of 5 stars
  • Lousy translation

  • By Tad Davis on 09-02-08

A superb performance of this classic story

Overall
3 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
2 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 07-03-15

What did you like best about 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea? What did you like least?

This is a visionary science fiction story - Verne's ability to imagine what could be done with an up-and-coming technology like electricity is brilliant. And I really like how he weaves that ultra-modern (at the time) technology into the old classic tale of the sea.
As for what I liked least, read on to the next question...

What was most disappointing about Jules Verne’s story?

The most disappointing part of this story is...the story. The vast majority of the story - excepting the first few chapters and the last few chapters - is completely bereft of a plot. It is one endless travelogue, listing the sights and wonders they see around the world. And that frequently descends into such tediously pedantic lists of plants and animals that I just want to yell "get on with it!"
Oh...and the other disappointing part is the characters. All of the characters in the story are cardboard cut-outs with no depth or humanity. Captain Nemo is the inscrutable loner. Arronax is the man of science. Conseil is his devoted servant. But none of them are anything more...interesting.
With no interesting characters, and little plot, to drive the story, I frequently found it dragging.

Which scene was your favorite?

My favorite part of the book is the beginning chapters, as Prof. Arronax speculates as to the nature of the creature that has been sighted, and then the chase aboard the Abraham Lincoln.

Do you think 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

Certainly not. This book is a work of its time; it would not make sense to try to follow it up.

Any additional comments?

I purchased this audiobook because of the narrator, David Chase. He did not disappoint. His reading brought life to this book - even to some of the tedious lists of the types of fish and plants they saw on their journey. It is an excellent narration.

5 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Uncle Dynamite

  • By: P. G. Wodehouse
  • Narrated by: Jonathan Cecil
  • Length: 7 hrs and 45 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 46
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 44
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 43

A chance meeting on a train brought together Lord Ickenham and Bill Oakshott - although being told that the love of his life, Hermione, was engaged to none other than Pongo, Lord Ickenham's nephew, did make Bill feel like he'd been struck behind the ear.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • Uncle Fred Fixes All!

  • By Mark on 01-08-15

More fun with Uncle Fred

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
5 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 06-08-15

What made the experience of listening to Uncle Dynamite the most enjoyable?

Without question, Jonathan Cecil's reading is what makes listening to this story great. It's a fun story (though not quite as great as the Uncle Fred story Cocktail Time), with all of the loopiness and goofiness we expect of a classic Wodehouse story. And Jonathan Cecil's reading makes it shine.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Uncle Dynamite?

Without revealing one of the amusing plot twists...at the end of the story, I was delighted as Uncle Fred put Sir Aylmer Bostock in his place.

Which character – as performed by Jonathan Cecil – was your favorite?

Jonathan Cecil is one of those rare readers who goes beyond being a good reader and becomes the embodiment of the author's work. Jonathan Cecil's reading of all the characters is excellent, but his portrayal of Uncle Fred is just perfect.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Uncle Dynamite makes me smile, laugh, and guffaw in many places. Uncle Fred is just a treasure as he goes about "spreading sweetness and light", cajoling, threatening, and blackmailing people all in the name of increasing happiness for everyone around him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Diplomatic Immunity

  • A Miles Vorkosigan Novel
  • By: Lois McMaster Bujold
  • Narrated by: Grover Gardner
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,895
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars 1,308
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 1,319

A rich Komarran merchant fleet has been impounded at Graf Station in distant Quaddiespace after a bloody incident involving the convoy's Barrayaran military escort. But Lord Miles Vorkosigan and his wife, Lady Ekaterin, have other things on their minds, such as getting home in time to attend the long-awaited births of their first children.

  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • No longer without a net

  • By David on 05-09-11

Not the best Vorkosigan but still a great story

Overall
4 out of 5 stars
Performance
3 out of 5 stars
Story
4 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 02-03-15

What made the experience of listening to Diplomatic Immunity the most enjoyable?

This is a story of the mature Miles - married and expecting his first two children, he's off on another jaunt as Lord Auditor. His age and accumulated injuries have slowed down his "forward momentum" a little, so it's fun to see how he solves problems while being slightly less madcap than the younger Miles.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Miles, Miles, Miles. OK, it was good to see Bel Thorne again, but Miles is what makes these stories.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The narrator is OK but nothing special. His voice is very easy to follow, but doesn't bring any special spark of life to the characters.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

Oh no. I love stretching out the enjoyment of a Miles Vorkosigan story over days. Though I often find I need to do just a few more chores around the house so I can listen just a few more minutes...

Any additional comments?

If you're new to the Vorkosigan stories, don't start here - start with some of the earlier stories like The Vor Game, and follow Miles through time until you get here. You'll be glad you did.

  • The Pirates Mixed Up Voyage

  • By: Margaret Mahy
  • Narrated by: Richard Mitchley
  • Length: 4 hrs and 9 mins
  • Unabridged
  • Overall
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Performance
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9
  • Story
    4.5 out of 5 stars 9

Captain Lionel Wafer and his fellow-pirates - Toad, Brace-and-Bit and Winkle, are no ordinary ruffians. Clinging to the belief that life should be simple, free and unplanned they set off in a converted teashop of a ship, renamed The Sinful Sausage, to sail backwards and forwards over the bounding blue. In no time a dastardly plan has formed in Captain Wafer's mind to kidnap the famous inventor, Humbert Cash-Cash, from his sunshine retreat and purloin his inventions - or at the very least pinch his diamond doorknob.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • A delicious kid's story with something for adults

  • By Captain Wafer on 01-15-15

A delicious kid's story with something for adults

Overall
5 out of 5 stars
Performance
4 out of 5 stars
Story
5 out of 5 stars

Reviewed: 01-15-15

What did you love best about The Pirates Mixed Up Voyage?

It's a story on several levels. My kids enjoyed the pirates and their (mis-)adventures; what can you say about nearly being devoured by a dragon and then singing it to sleep? But it's also got something for parents too - the theme of free will as being acted out by Captain Wafer vs. Toothpick's argument in favor of doom and destiny is just an example. If you're a parent who enjoys a story with silliness and seriousness mixed together, then this can make a great family listen on a car trip.

Who was your favorite character and why?

There are several I really like, but I'd say my favorite is the muddled-but-brilliant inventor Humbert Cash-Cash, who has enhanced the world with such useful inventions as Polar Zone Gingerbread and self-replicating peanut butter sandwiches. Wonderful silliness without being slapstick.

Which scene was your favorite?

Again, there are a number of good ones, but perhaps my favorite is when the ignorant pirates charge onto island 888 looking for treasure. They can't read, so they go right past signs warning them of terrible danger and are nearly eaten by the dragon the find at the end of the path...only to escape by giving the dragon rum and gingerbread, and then singing it to sleep.

If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

"Doom and destiny"

Any additional comments?

A fun story and also well performed. Strongly recommended.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful